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54cm vs 56cm

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54cm vs 56cm

Old 03-16-09, 10:32 PM
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54cm vs 56cm

I've been riding a 56cm Synapse 5 for 2month I borrowed from a friend. I've been to LBS and they size me up as a 54cm. I just completed a 70 mile ride and feel fine. I'm 5'8" w/ a 32 inseam, should I go to a 54cm?
Thanks for any info.
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Old 03-16-09, 10:44 PM
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Based on the minimal info provided I'd guess that you'd be more likely to fit on a 54. Suggest you go through the measurement process and fitting program on the competitive cyclist or wrench science sites and use that as a basis for comparison with the geometry of the bike you're looking at. On the competitive cyclist site, I'd probably use the "Eddy" fit.
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Old 03-16-09, 10:44 PM
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Sounds about right. All that matters is that you are comfortable.

Every bike is different. I'm 6' and ride a 56 on my steel and a 59 on my CF. Both have approximately a 56-57cm top tube
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Old 03-16-09, 10:47 PM
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your overall height suggests 54. your inseam suggests 56. I would go 54 so you are not too stretched out. You can always raise the seat.
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Old 03-16-09, 10:48 PM
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I'm 5' 10" and rode a 56 for many thousands of miles. One day I rode a friends 54 and thought, ``Wow, I'm *really* stretched out on that 56.'' Decided to try some more 54s and 56s and realized I favored the smaller frame in almost every instance.

So go out and try riding one. It's the only way to be sure.
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Old 03-16-09, 10:53 PM
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I'm 5'10" with short femurs, but I prefer a 54. How long is the stem on the 56? I just got an 80mm stem for my 56 and it's way more comfortable now. I would recommend that you don't F with a fit that allows you to ride 70 miles pain-free.
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Old 03-16-09, 11:03 PM
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Your inseam seems to imply that you have long legs for your height meaning that your torso is shorter. As a result your reach should be shorter as well.
The 54 is probably perfect unless you feel you would prefer less drop between the saddle and the bars. The 56 would have a longer head tube and would position the bars higher. With the 54 you can extend the reach with a longer stem if needed.
The 54 will offer a more aggressive geometry while the 56 will give you a more relax position. If you are young I would go 54, otherwise if you want to save your back get the 56.
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Old 03-16-09, 11:09 PM
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Smaller frame means lighter, no?
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Old 03-16-09, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by captnfantastic
your inseam suggests 56.
Nah. Even the old 'conservative' LeMond method of inseam x .66 puts him on 53.65
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Old 03-16-09, 11:27 PM
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Im 5'10 and use a 58 frame and raise the seat what feels like half way up
Go get fitted and what feels comfortable.
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Old 03-16-09, 11:28 PM
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I have similar measurements 5'8 (178 cm) and 31.5 inch (or 80 cm) inseam (from the floor to taint). I have comfortably rode a 54 cm specialized Allez Elite with 172.5 cranks and and a 120 mm stem for years. I eventually test rode many sizes of the Cervelo Team soloist. Many online calculators put me on a 52 or 53 cm frame. I testrode the 56 cm cervelo which I found very comfortable, the 51 cm felt too cramped and tiny...the 54 cm felt the same as the 56 cm--I could not tell the difference. I test rode 4-6 times over several weeks before I purchased the 54 cm--I replaced the cranks with 170 mm FSAs and swapped out the stem for the 120 mm length (110 came stock).

I remember I anagonized about the size...the pros tend to go on smaller frames these days. CSC used to have the rider's height and frame size and all the riders my size (Sastre, Kolobnev) tended to ride the 51 cm. Use an online calculator to get you in the ball park then ride each size as many times as possible. You're in the ballpark I don't really think you can go wrong either way, a bigger size will tend to be more stable and comforable on longer rides goes the theory.

-Jason
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Old 03-16-09, 11:32 PM
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for what its worth I have (relatively) longer arms.
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Old 03-16-09, 11:32 PM
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I'm 6'1" and am riding a 58cm frame. Should I be on a 60 or 61? Probably. My problem is that my legs are so damn long. If they made a sick looking women's bike in my size, I'd totally ride it.

I'm comfortable as hell on long rides, my seat post just looks silly.
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Old 03-16-09, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tomatl411
for what its worth I have (relatively) longer arms.
I'm almost exactly the same size as you (fractionally longer inseam) and like a previous poster had always had bike shops sell me 56's. Then one day I rode a 54 and it fitted so much better. You can use a stem of a sensible length and not have to resort to 90mm or less. The only thing to watch is that the head tube height does not put the bars too low for your flexibility. Even then you can always use spacers and flip the stem up.
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Old 03-16-09, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by traumadogrn
I'm 5'8" w/ a 32 inseam, should I go to a 54cm?
Yes.

I have the same basic measurements. I ride a 54cm bike with compact geometry. My previous bike had standard/traditional geometry and was a 56cm. Before buying my current 54cm bke, I test-rode the 56cm version of the same bike. It just felt completely wrong...
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Old 03-16-09, 11:48 PM
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I'm about the same height/inseam as you. I wish I had gotten a 54. I feel too stretched out, I have my saddle slammed all the way forward, and have to put 20mm of spacers under the stem(100mm) to keep my back from killing me on longer rides.

I can't afford to buy a new bike/frameset now, so in the meantime I'm thinking about getting a no offset seatpost and a 90mm stem.

My next bike will be a 54.
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Old 03-16-09, 11:58 PM
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54
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Old 03-17-09, 12:08 AM
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I'm 5'10 and ride 54
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Old 03-17-09, 12:35 AM
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I'm 6ft with long legs (35.2" inseam), and my favourite size is 57, but I have a few 58s.
I've ridden 56s, but they feel a little small, usually coz the head-tubes are shorter
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Old 03-17-09, 03:03 AM
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5'11" here with 34"-35" inseam.

I used to ride a steel 54cm. Top Tube is 54.5cm and I have to jam my seat back all the way on my seat post plus use 130mm stem to get a nice fit.

Now I feel much comfortable on a steel 55.5cm with 55.5cm TT. Using the same stem, at least I can move my seat forward 1-2 cm.

And yes, I ride faster now on the 55.5cm cos I'm more comfortable.
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Old 03-17-09, 07:15 AM
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Test ride a 54 and see. Frame size, as advertised by the manufacturers is just a number, as a 54cm size Cervelo is not exactly the same geometry as a 54cm Cannondale or Pedal Force or Ruegamer. The only thing that actually matters is if you're comfortable on it. It may not be worth the expense of swapping out a frame if you can be fit comfortably on the one you have.

For what it's worth, I'm 5' 11" with a 32" inseam, and I ride a 56cm.
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Old 03-17-09, 08:05 AM
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The 54cm is the proper size. The synapse has a VERY tall head tube. The 165mm head tube is 25mm taller than the same size SuperSix.

I pay no attention to frame size numbers. I compare the TT length and seat tube angle that work together to produce the reach and the head tube length, with the headset, to figure the bike's true vertical size.

FWIW, your leg length is only average. I've got about 2cm more inseam and I'm 1.5 inches shorter.

Even with 2cm more inseam, I use a head tube length of only 125mm, so even a 51cm synapse would have too much head tube length for me.
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Old 03-17-09, 08:59 AM
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better to be on a smaller bike than bigger.
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Old 03-17-09, 09:27 AM
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I'm 5-8 to 5-9 w/ 34" inseam and have always ridden a 54.
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Old 03-17-09, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BustaQuad
I'm 5-8 to 5-9 w/ 34" inseam and have always ridden a 54.
What, does it depend on the time of the month for you?
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